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Altering Your Home


Your home is your castle, and yours to do with what you wish providing it’s on the inside, and provided any alterations do not impair structural integrity or mechanical or electrical systems, or lessen the support of any portions of the building.

Although the Association is responsible for maintaining the waterproof envelope (including paint, siding, roof, etc.) on the exterior of your home, you are responsible for the inside. Structural damage, failures of any installed appliance or of  the furnace or hot water systems, or of plumbing or electrical fixtures, etc., are your responsibly to have be repaired at your own expense. On a recurring basis, preferably on an annual basis, the continued safe performance of your water heater and furnace should be confirmed by a professional.  PG&E provides a wide range of services for its customers. These services may be available at little or no cost to you.

An interior condition of which you should be aware is that the finish applied to provide texture to the sheetrock ceilings of the units (and possibly some other surfaces in utility rooms), unless changed by an owner since the original construction, is composed partly of chrystotile asbestos, a material often found in Bay Area homes built before 1980. Repair and maintenance of ceilings inside the units is the responsibility of the individual owner, as is any decision with regard to self protection and handling, treating or replacing the ceiling finishes. Some owners have had the finish removed from the sheetrock ceilings. There are a number of contractors in the area who specialize in this type of work.  For more information click here:  Asbestos Information

The policy of the Association, prior to authorizing the performance of any roofing or other work on a unit which might conceivably disturb the ceiling finishes, is to require the homeowner and current occupant to sign a release and indemnification form.


In order to maintain the uniform quality and appearance of our community, no exterior structural modifications or alterations of any kind are permitted without prior application to and written approval of the Architectural Control Committee.  Article XI   Section I Architectural Approval of the CC&Rs declares no building, fence, wall or other structure shall be erected, placed, altered or maintained, nor shall any exterior addition to or change or alteration be made in the appearance of any structure upon any lot or major landscaping in the front yard located upon any lot.

Homeowners wishing to make alterations should make application to the Architectural Control Committee, and such applications will receive a prompt and fair review.  The policy of the Association, when it grants such an application, is to require that the work be done by a licensed contractor. 

Note: The Architectural Modification Package form is available under Forms. Please use this form when requesting any changes to your unit or landscape.

Also, it is the policy of the Association to require the applicant to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement releasing the Association from liability for future maintenance and/or replacement of the element in question.

The Board may consider granting a license for the use of Common Area immediately adjacent to a lot. Such license granted would be recorded with the title. In the consideration of granting a license, the Board must find that the work: (a) will not be aesthetically objectionable; (b) will not interfere with privacy of any other resident; (c) will not block view(s) from any other residence; and (d) will not materially interfere with any part of the Common Area actively used by other residents.

The CC&Rs provide that no sign of any kind may be displayed for public view in Common Area; provided, however, that one sign of not more than four square feet may be placed at a central location on the lot advertising a lot for sale or rent. All permitted signs shall be attractive and compatible with the design of the property and shall comply with any city ordinances. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any Owner or the Association may maintain any sign required by legal proceedings.

If you are interested in adding a hot tub to your home, click here: Hot Tub Policy 


The Association is responsible for maintenance, repair and replacement of all grass, ground cover, trees, shrubs, and other landscaping outside fenced or railed areas and any trees or shrubs over five feet tall inside fenced or railed areas. The Association has the right, at its own cost to trim or remove any trees over five feet tall on any lot or other portion of the property if it deems it desirable to do so for de benefit of other Lots in the Property, or for the general benefit of the Property. Prior to such action, the Association shall give reasonable notice to the Owner.  The notice shall advise the Owner the he or she may request an opportunity to address the Board before the work is begun.

The owner is responsible for maintenance, repair and replacement of all landscaping inside fenced or railed areas, patios or decks, except for trees or shrubs over five feet tall. Modification by an individual homeowner of any existing Common Area landscaping, either by removing shrubs or vegetation, planting of such, trimming of shrubs or trees or trimming of trees or shrubs in excess of five feet tall within fenced or railed areas is not permitted. However, if you wish to alter the landscaping in the immediate courtyard and walkway areas of your home, you may make application to do so and your application will receive a prompt and fair review by the Landscape Committee. Any such landscaping must be consistent with the overall appearance of the community, must not be such – when it attains its mature growth – as to threaten the structure or substructure, and must be maintained as a part of your own responsibility.

Watering is controlled by a master sprinkler system which covers most of the planted area outside your home. Please note where these sprinkler outlets are and promptly report any breakage or other deficiencies to the Property Manager. Also, and the is very important be sure to report any instance in which sprinklers spray water on the siding or decks of your home, This can contribute to the deterioration of these components.

Please observe and utilize the many walkways we have, and avoid taking shortcuts across landscaped areas. Also, please instruct your children to not ride their bikes on the lawns, nor to play in planted areas.  Do remember that the landscape gardeners have been instructed to take directions only from the Property Manager or the Landscaping Chairperson. The beauty of landscaping in general as of individual trees or shrubs, can be a very subjective matter; a tree to which one homeowner is indifferent can be a delight to his neighbors. The common areas must be landscaped for the community as a whole, rather than for a individual home. Not all Shelter Ridge property is intensively gardened.  At the perimeters of the development much property is purposely left in its natural state, not merely because to do otherwise would be an expensive use of water and labor, but because we assume that homeowners here, like many others who choose homes on Marin County hillsides, value the native environment.


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